Ski Cross Debut Won By Switzerland's Michael Schmid

The X-Games' influence on the Winter Olympics continued on Sunday, when Ski Cross made its debut.

It is four skiers at a time racing down a moto-cross course, and officially described as an event with "turns in a variety of types and sizes, flat sections and traverses, as well as rolls, banks and ridge."

Switzerland's Michael Schmid increased his country's gold medal total when he won the debut of Men's Ski Cross. Andreas Matt of Austria won silver and Norway's Audun Groenvold took bronze. The highest finishing American was Casey Puckett, who was 23rd.

Daron Rahlves, a former member of the U.S. alpine ski team and three-time Olympian, fell 30 seconds into the first race, ending his hopes of an elusive medal.

This is a brutal, free-for-all of an event, with four men and their eight skis and eight poles screaming down the mountain for each race, all of them seeking the perfect lines and taking not-so-perfect chances when desperation sets in.

Indeed, it was not always the fastest who won, but often just the last one left standing.

More: SB Nation’s full coverage of the Winter Olympics and the 2010 Winter Olympics Medal Count Tracker.

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